Temporomandibular disorder is more commonly known as TMD and affects the jaw and muscles surrounding the mouth area. TMD is typically caused by an injury or trauma involving the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This can cause the TMJ to become unable to move properly, or locked, which can make it painful or difficult to chew or speak. TMD may be referred to as “lockjaw” and can be quite uncomfortable. It’s estimated that more than 10 million people suffer some form of TMD, and many others go undiagnosed.
What are the symptoms of TMJ / TMD?
TMD has a number of causes, many of which are unknown. Injuries to the TMJ can be caused by a number of different factors such as stress, teeth grinding, and even crooked teeth and improper bite. Dislocation and arthritis of the TMJ may also be to blame. Typical symptoms of TMD include:
- Facial swelling
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw and face, that may extend as far as the ears and shoulder
- A clicking sound in the jaw when chewing or opening and closing the mouth
- Poor mobility in the jaw that makes it difficult or impossible to open your mouth widely
- Facial swelling
- The jaw becoming immobilized when attempt to open or close your mouth
Your dentist will perform a thorough examination and ask you a serious of questions regarding your symptoms in order to diagnose TMD, and they may take x-rays in order to get a closer look at your TMJ and jawbone to check for any serious inflammation.
What is the treatment for TMD?
There are several treatments available for TMD, depending upon the cause. Dental treatments such as bridgework, crowns, and braces may correct any underlying dental issues that are causing your TMD. If your dentist feels that teeth grinding and stress, your dentist may recommend that you wear a night guard, and determine if there are any dental treatments that are needed to correct your bite. Stress relieving exercise and relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga may also be recommended. Your dentist will also likely recommend that you avoid caffeinated beverages and chewing gum for a time. If you have any of the above symptoms and feel that you may be suffering from TMD, call Manhattan Beach Dental Center today at 310-376-0482 to schedule a consultation. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff has dealt with a number of TMD cases and can help develop a treatment plan that will alleviate your discomfort and return your smile to normal.